Muscat to Athens (Piraeus)
14th May 2022 FOR 14 NIGHTS | Silver Cloud
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This fly cruise holiday is financially protected by SILVERSEA under ATOL 4681
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WHY WE RECOMMEND Mediterranean CRUISES
From historic capital cities to charming coastal towns dotted across a sun-soaked shoreline, there is so much choice when it comes to picking your perfect Mediterranean cruise itinerary. Take your pick from a host of voyages taking in the Western Mediterranean across Spain, Portugal and the French Riviera, or the Eastern Mediterranean including Italy, Greece and Croatia.
Whichever side of the Mediterranean you decide to explore, from the enchanting east to the legendary west - or even both - you will experience the warm climate, captivating culture and fascinating history for which the region is renowned. A Mediterranean cruise offers the opportunity to explore a different city every day - enjoying famous museums, pavement cafes and stunning scenery as you go. Why not book a Cruise and Stay holiday and extend your stay in a city such as Barcelona?
Mediterranean cruises are most popular during the summer months of June, July and August. The hot weather and warm sea make this the ideal time to visit the coastal town and cities. The spring and autumn are also good times to cruise, particularly if you wish to avoid the hustle and bustle of the summer season.
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Surrounded by striking mountains on one side and soft sandy shores along the coast, Muscat was already a thriving port in ancient times. As the capital of modern Oman with wide avenues and architecture that features both contemporary and traditional design, parts of the city still retain their medieval appearance, including two ancient Portuguese forts flanking the rocky cove around which the city is built. During the 14th and 15th centuries, Muscat was an important outpost for the powerful kings of Hormuz. In the 16th century, the Portuguese took possession of Muscat, but lost their dominance in the Gulf when the city came again under Omani rule in 1650. Since the mid-18th century, members of the Al-Busaidy dynasty have been the rulers of Oman. From the time of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said's accession to the throne in 1970, the Sultanate has gone from an underdeveloped country to a modern state with imposing government buildings, hospitals, new roads, a university and a sport complex. Muscat's picturesque old buildings still co-exist with modern commercial and residential quarters, giving the city an ambiance all its own. The seaside palace of His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos, offers a spectacular sight, as it stands between steep rocky hills. Greater Muscat covers a huge area divided into three sections: the old port area, the main trading and residential area, and the modern Central Banking District. Sumptuous villas and deluxe hotels are part of an ongoing building boom. Strong development in tourism has gained Oman a new role as an intriguing, fascinating and safe destination. Oman is full of treasures - from historic palaces and traditional buildings to captivating landscapes and gracious people. Its advent into modern age has managed beautifully to blend age-old mystique with a taste of the 21st century.
14 May 2022
In centuries past, Arab wooden vessels dominated the trade routes of the Indian Ocean. Many were built and based at Sur, which was a major port from the 6th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries the port often had 150 vessels as Sur continued to be a centre of trade between Oman, East Africa and Asia. Its strategic location at the junction of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea was a key to the town’s importance. View less Modern ships and the opening of the Suez Canal reduced the maritime fortunes of the town, although some fishing and pleasure dhows still sail today. Sur’s fortunes are now tied more to the nearby gas processing industry and supporting nearby rural villages. Traditional wooden dhows are still constructed in the shipyard of Sur for local use. You can watch skilled craftsmen building the boats using age-old techniques and tools. Plans don’t exist, as the designs and measurements are all in the shipwright’s head and passed on by word of mouth and experience. Dhows may not be as fast and comfortable as our cruise ship but they have proved an effective and resilient ocean going design. Forts and watchtowers around Sur reflect the historic importance of the valuable trading port. The lighthouse dominating the harbour entrance is a converted watch tower. Sunaysilah Fort, with its four towers, is a fine example of Omani defensive structures. Sur itself still embraces old architecture and many traditions. One is the importance of souqs (markets) plying a trade in everything from fish to perfumes.
15 May 2022
16 May 2022
Salalah is the capital of Dhofar Province, which is the southern region of the Sultanate of Oman. Green areas scattered across town give the city a tropical atmosphere and have earned it the name "Garden City." It is a laid-back place with a few resort hotels dotting the sandy seashore. The Dhofar region has been known for centuries for the production of frankincense. The narrow belt and the mountain range benefit from the southwest monsoon winds, which are an unusual feature for the Arabian Peninsula. The moisture-laden winds bring rain from the end of June to August. Heavy mists blanket the coast and mountains during these months, creating lush, green hillsides and cooler temperatures, the perfect environment for frankincense trees to grow. Behind the mountain range lies the hot desert, unaffected by the monsoon, and the domain of the hardy Bedouins and their camels. Along the coast lie miles of deserted beaches, bordered by a brilliant blue sea. Other attractions around the countryside include ancient forts, archaeological sites, fishing villages and the tombs of prophets. But it is mainly the rugged landscape and the beaches that appeal to visitors with a penchant for unspoiled destinations. Indeed, Salalah has to be appreciated as an off-the-beaten-track location and for the uniqueness that marks the Dhofar region.
17 May 2022
18 May 2022 - 21 May 2022
The port city of Safaga is located on the western flank of the Red Sea, across from the shores of Saudi Arabia. The dusty streets are for the most part quiet, save for the occasional truck or bus. Diving enthusiasts come to the few resort hotels located north of Safaga to enjoy one of the world's best and relatively unspoiled locations for underwater exploration. Their number is steadily increasing. As a result, Safaga's facilities are gradually improving. For cruise vessels calling here, Safaga serves as the gateway to Luxor, which ranks among the most important destinations in Egypt, topping the list of must-see attractions. Guests who are not planning to take the excursion to Luxor will find very limited activities in Safaga itself, except for souvenir shopping at some tourist villages and diving and snorkeling tours at resort hotels. A half day trip to the resort of Hurghada is also an option.
22 May 2022
23 May 2022
Suez Canal Transit
No information available
24 May 2022
25 May 2022
Located only seven miles from the Turkish coast, Rhodes is one of Greece's favored vacation centers. In ancient times, the entrance to its harbor featured a celebrated landmark, the Colossus of Rhodes. The 105-foot statue rose from a 35-foot stone base and was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Rhodes was an important cultural center with a well-known School of Rhetoric attended by such historical figures as Cicero and Caesar. From a school for sculptors came the famous Laocoon group, which is now in the Vatican Museum. Rhodes' most famous attractions originated with the Knights of St. John, who occupied parts of the island from 1308 to 1522. As their legacy they left a medieval town, dominated by the Palace of the Grand Masters and the Knights' Hospital. The Old Town is encircled by one of the best-preserved walls in Europe. In addition to buildings that showcase the legacy of the Knights of St. John, there are plenty of shops and dining opportunities throughout the Old Town.
26 May 2022
A little bit more rough and ready around the edges than a lot of other Greek islands, Naxos is the thinking-person’s Greece. The largest of all the Cyclades islands, it was once the cultural centre of Classical Greece and Byzantium, so do not be surprised that the world’s oldest culture has left its mark. Museums range from the Archaeological Museum (housed in an elegant Venetian mansion), an impressive geological museum to the lovely Venetian and unusual museum, housed in an 800-year old private house. View less For those who want to venture further afield, Haki, the old capital of Naxos, has a great distillery museum, run by the same family who first opened it in 1896. Not only are there two lovely monasteries worth visiting, but because of its high mountains Naxos benefits from much more rainfall than most other Greek islands, which makes the land very green and fertile. Local produces includes olives, grapes, figs, citrus fruit, corn and potatoes and if you get a chance, a healthy home-grown meal in a back-country taverna will be undoubtedly be memorable. The golden sands that circle Naxos are particularly nice, catering for all personality types. The active among you will certainly want to head to the eastern side of the island, where the wind is perfect for budding kite and windsurfers, as well as those who like their beaches as natural as can be. The western side of the island, notably Platka beach, is where the sun-lovers will be seen soaking up the rays.
27 May 2022
A city of legend, civilisation and enduring culture, Athens is a majestic and magical urban sprawl. Extraordinary elegance and grace combine with grit and graft in Greece's capital, where highways encase ruins from antiquity, and gleaming museums and galleries stand beside concrete sprayed with edgy street art. These contrasts enhance and elevate the wonders of this 2,500-year-old city, however, which can count notable contributions to philosophy, drama and democracy, among its global legacy. Piraeus' giant port and naval base welcome you to the edge of the Athens' urban area. From there it's a simple jaunt to the centre. The majestic ancient citadel of the Acropolis dominates an elevated platform and is a constant presence as you explore the city. The wonderful remains of the columned temple of the Parthenon - which date back to the 5th century BC - stand here, representing the pinnacle of classical architecture. The nearby Acropolis Museum adds context to your visit and frames the broad views from its giant glass windows. Or rise up Mount Lycabettus, to be rewarded with perhaps Athens' best panorama of the Acropolis sitting high over the city on its grand stage. See the marble horseshoe of the Old Olympic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, for more of the city's enduring legacy. Elsewhere, golden beaches and temples stretch out along the coastline, should you wish to explore a little further afield. Coffee is an art form to the Greeks, and it's an unwritten rule that coffee time must never be rushed. So prepare to settle down for a couple of hours and lose yourself in a good chat. Feeling hungry - try traditional souvlaki made with sauces handed from generation to generation.
28 May 2022
(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).
With 18-brand new Zodiacs, four superlative restaurants in Antarctica and a pole to pole expedition itinerary, Silver Cloud really does break the ice between expedition and luxury.
After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud is the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special.
Her four dining options will tantalise your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. Broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today.
A limited number of guests in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 16 zodiacs, 10 kayaks, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations. Finally, a team of up to 22 passionate and dedicated expedition experts are always at hand to ensure your voyage is enhanced every step of the way.